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by Archie
Rated: E · Critique · Food/Cooking · #697069
Brutti's is one of those special places to celebrate special events.
467 Court St.
Portsmouth, VA 23704
Phone: 757 393-1923

Brutti's is a jewel of a restaurant in Portsmouth that I discovered with the help of an old friend who I hadn't seen in over 5 years. "Let's meet at Brutti's," he said, and that started the ball rolling to a fine culinary discovery in downtown Portsmouth.

Arriving a few minutes early, I walked about the simple, yet comfortable dining area, with a bar area toward the left rear of the restaurant. Everyone seemed to be enjoying his or her food and friendly conversation. Robert, our server, made certain that I was comfortable, that I was aware of the choices available and made me feel more like a guest than a customer. And that was without his knowing that I was planning on writing this review.

Since it was to be a late lunch, I ordered a Parisian style sandwich called the Mozzarella, tomato and basil. It was served on a freshly baked French baguette with vinaigrette and, optionally, red onion. I opted for the onion. It was a great sandwich for a light lunch on a hot Wednesday afternoon. Other sandwich choices were Mandarin chicken, honey-smoked Turkey and brie, while albacore tuna, roast beef with various toppings. Those were just a few of many, and the salad menu offered all from a basic house salad to the more exotic Mediterranean platter with Calamata olives, red pepper, mozzarella, hummus, tabouli, feta, sun dried tomatoes, and warm pita slices.

The dinner menu includes a nice selection of pasta, beef, poultry, seafood, and an 18-ounce char grilled bone-in rib steak. That will be my primary reason for a dinner visit soon. I noticed another favorite of mine on the appetizer list, oysters Rockefeller.

Brutti's is a place to enjoy food from its simplest to its most sophisticated dishes with a comfortable, friendly ambience.

Robert mentioned that Brutti's is still experimenting with their hours of operation, but that they are pretty much settled into the hours of Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm, and then from 5:30 to 9:30 pm, possibly until 10:30 pm Friday and Saturday. Call first to make sure.

Addendum: Dinner with my wife

An evening more recently, my wife and I visited Brutti's for dinner and what a meal we had! Bruce, our server for the evening, was extremely professional, friendly and informative, and we had questions on many items. He and the chef coordinated well to make ours a wonderfully romantic, delightful evening. Of course, my wife is what really made the event romantic, but the food, drink and ambiance were fantastic catalysts to add to the romantic magic.

My meal started with the much anticipated Oysters Rockafeller, and what a treat that was. I don't remember ever having such wonderful Oysters Rockafeller; each shell was generously filled with oyster, bacon, cheese and spinach, and, of course, those magical seasonings that made them the perfect introduction to my 16 ounce char grilled New York Strip Sirloin Steak. Ordered medium rare, my steak was perfectly and exquisitely prepared, with sautéed vegetables, all fresh, and a wonderfully tasty addition of oven-fried sweet potatoes.

My wife shared and enjoyed the Oysters Rockafeller with me, and, as her entree ordered a Mango Basil Pesto Focaccia. Rave reviews from her on that entree, and that was a difficult choice from the Focaccia and Pizza section of the menu.

Our senses of smell and sight were treated well as tables around us were served various pasta, seafood and poultry dishes. Everyone seemed to be having a culinarily delightful evening.

My wife and I splurged with dessert, hers a Pecan Bourbon Pie, mine a banana chocolate cake, accompanied with a delicious cup of hot coffee. At just over $53, our dinner was a wonderful treat, and an excursion into fine dining often difficult to find in Hampton Roads.

Brutti's is a wonderful place for a romantic dinner, complete with a piano player to set and keep that romantic mood, and to add a romantic ambience to the diners' enjoyment of the food. Although we did not partake this evening, Brutti's has a nice wine selection and I checked out the well-stocked bar; they had a couple of my favorite single-malt Scotches. Perhaps next time, if I'm not driving.

The owners, Charles and Kathy Greenwood are to be thanked and congratulated for adding this jewel called Brutti’s to the downtown Portsmouth area.

© Copyright 2003 Archie (archiew at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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